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Jiu Li, Messenger of Hanfu | Faces of Chongqing

By XINYI LIWANG, XIAOYANXINGCHEN YUEICHONGQING|May 11,2022

Chongqing– Cui Yining and her team have spent a dozen years reviving Han culture. The performer, whose stage name is Jiu Li, particularly enjoys the traditional Chinese clothing of Hanfu.

Jiu Li refers to the nine ancient rituals in China, rituals, and etiquettes about crowns, hats, weddings, meeting the emperor, diplomacy, funeral, sacrifice, hospitality, feast, and military. Among them, dressing and accessories occupy a large portion of all etiquettes, deciding how to make a good first impression. Therefore, Jiu Li and her team have researched libraries of literature about the culture and history of traditional Chinese clothing.

As a saying goes, “Dressing in Hanfu is an act of respect and praise for Chinese tradition.” 

Hanfu, which started with the Yellow Emperor and was prepared for Yao and Shun, originated from the Yellow Emperor’s imperial dressing. Shaped in the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BCE), Hanfu embodied a complete dress and personal adornment system based on the Four Books and Five Classics through the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). Later, many other dynasties in Huaxia venerated and followed the dressing etiquettes of the Zhou and Han dynasties. Moreover, people regarded recording and conserving dressing and accessories as a national event. Hence, many dynasties kept their own Yu Fu Zhi (dressing history of the public), especially in the Twenty-Four Histories.

“When it comes to Hanfu, each dynasty has its own unique manner, etiquette, and ceremony.”Cui said, “There are few writings left behind from thousands of years ago However, we can still extrapolate from limited resources. For example, we can research locations like Suzhou and Hangzhou, or the ancient cities of Xi’an and Nanjing.”

What Cui’s team did was to learn from true examples and retrace the history. “This is a principle my team and I have insisted on over the past 12 years,” she added.

The identification of Han ethnic groups with Hanfu is part of their national consciousness. Meanwhile, wearing this kind of traditional Chinese dress is not a regression of history but a new, retro-future fashion trend. “Dressing in Hanfu is an act of respect; praise for Chinese traditions,” said Jiu Li. As a young person, she and her team continue to elevate Hanfu to promote Chinese civilization and build national self-confidence.

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